A year ago or so I exposed the identity of the founder of the Jewish Internet Defense Force (Wikipedia article). David Brotsky, aged 37, lives in Dallas, TX. He is a film production and location manager by day. His credits include some of the better known movies and commercials made in the past decade or so. Among his projects were Almost Famous, Sweet and Lowdown, Friday Night Lights, and The Cradle Will Rock. What’s interesting and strange about Brotsky is that while his professional career appears legitimate, almost nothing that he does in his shadowy borderline violent pro-Israel advocacy is.
By night, he’s David Appletree, a rabid gut-toting, hate mongering Jewish terrorist (or wannabe). Lately, he’s gone ever farther over the top than normal, calling for the formation of Jewish militias in all of the world’s (!) major cities and imposing vigilante justice on Israel’s enemies whoever and wherever they may be.
A lot of these trolls are making me think it will soon be time to take JIDF to the next level: armedmilitias.
…a small group of organized JIDF supporters in each major city in the world could make people think twice.
Here he links to a video clip of the target-practice scene from Taxi Driver, in which Robert DeNiro points an unloaded gun at the camera and fires in preparation for mounting a political assassination:
Here he features a pistol with silencer with the caption: “Good day.”
Brotsky appears to have a romance as well with the Jewish Defense League and quotes admiringly, Meir Kahane’s infamous: “every Jew a .22.” We should keep in mind that while the JDL had a reputation of being on the farthest fringes of American Jewish discourse, Kahane’s views have largely been ratified in present-day Israel. Even a mandarin as supposedly mainstream as Jeffrey Goldberg admits to his own fling with Kahanism that lasted at least through his 20s, if not longer.
Not to mention that leaders of the JDL engaged in real crimes, including bombings and murder. Some Kahanists are still running free in the West Bank maiming and murdering Palestinians on a regular basis. I’d err on the side of being judicious in evaluating the mayhem of which he might be capable.
Those of you who believe in the rule of law may ask why the FBI isn’t giving this guy a home visit. Apparently, the G-men prefer cases in which the victim has lots of curves and is “very good friends” with important U.S. generals. Clearly advocating the creation of an armed militia and displaying weapons which presumably would be used to exterminate whatever anti-Israel trash has gotten Brotsky lathered up, would appear to be either a federal crime outright or one in the making.
The question arises whether Brotsky is merely a certifiable lunatic looking for attention by whatever means he can find it; or whether he represents a clear and present danger to his opponents or American Jewish political discourse. I’m writing this post because while it’s possible the former is the case, there’s too much of a possibility that the latter is true to ignore him.
One of Brotsky’s claims to fame (or infamy) is his “mastery” of the art of exploitation and manipulation of social media. He of course maintains JIDF Facebook and Twitter accounts, but he also appears to have created multiple sockpuppet accounts designed to support and echo his own views. Conversely, he creates fake accounts of supposed Arab or Muslim users and posts damaging anti-Semitic or anti-Israel material:
…We will be launching our largest operation on 4chan and other popular image boards, our objective is to create an image of Palestinians and Lebanese being virulently anti-American and anti-Western.
- Create threads against Israel and fill them with posts from violent Jihadist Palestinians, claim to want to immigrate into the West to do Jihad, later on in the threads post links to propaganda films like Pallywood.
- Exploit massive Lebanese immigration into Australia as a reason why the Australian people should support Israel.
- Post propaganda threads linking to Palestinian and Lebanese suicide bombers and other Muslim extremism, in these threads also reply as a Jew who has been affected by Jihadist violence, explain to the readers that Muslims are a threat to the West.
- Start threads claiming to be Lebanese-Americans or Palestinian-Englanders, portray yourselves as extremely anti-Israel, later on in these threads claim to be a Jew disgusted by the behavior of the Lebanese/Palestinian man.
A review of some of his 60,000 Twitter followers indicates that a significant portion are either Twitter spam or possibly even secured through a Twitter grey market. The fact that the JIDF website is ranked at 1.1-million in popularity indicates both that he doesn’t spend much time on it, and that he’s possibly vastly inflating his Twitter followers and Facebook Friends. He’s also hacked into the social media accounts of legitimate users and engaged in acts of plagiarism. In this interview (with the woman who later made this accusation), he makes a revealing admission:
David: My only regret is trusting people.
This is one of the most untrustworthy people on the internet, who violates the trust and rules of social media giants like Twitter and Facebook. Yet he sees himself as the victim of the bad acts of others. That might remind you of a particular country we often discuss here.
Appletree’s Facebook (personal) page was removed because he was not using his real name, a violation of the company’s rules. Now, he’s created a Fan page for David Appletree, who is a figment of Brotsky’s imagination and a victim of his self-regard.
The JIDF founder at one time (until they had a falling out) made common cause with another hasbara fraudster, David Lange (aka Aussie Dave). They each created hoax users and posted inflammatory anti-Israel comments in Facebook accounts and then pointed to those comments in attacking the groups to which they posted them.
Another mystery is how and why Twitter decided to “verify” Brotsky’s JIDF account. Clearly the fact that he has a large number of followers played a role. But verification is the ultimate seal of approval Twitter offers its most popular celebrity users. By offering Brotsky this, it in effect also ratified the content of his account:
Verification is currently used to establish authenticity of identities on Twitter. The verified badge helps users discover high-quality sources of information and trust that a legitimate source is authoring the account’s Tweets.
Twitter proactively verifies accounts on an ongoing basis to make it easier for users to find who they’re looking for. We concentrate on highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas. We verify business partners from time to time and individuals at high risk of impersonation.
I’ll let you be the judge of whether Brotsky is a “high-quality source of information and trust.”
NOTE: There is another David Brotsky (David M. Brotsky) who lives in New York (not Texas) and runs a Jewish outdoor events company. He has no association with the subject of this blog post. I apologize for any inconvenience caused by confusion between the two individuals.